Commitment to the organizational mission is critical for sucess- but not sufficient. key to fulfilling that mission is good leadership and management practices.
A strategic plan is essential for nonprofit organizations. It’s basically a long-range plan that spells out where an organization is headed and how it will get there. Here is more information about what is and why it is so important.
- Strategic Planning (in nonprofit or for-profit organizations) – Free Management Library
- Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders – TCC Group
- The Structure of Planning – Synthesis Partnership
- Nonprofit Organizational Assessment Tool
- Strategic Planning – The Nonprofit Management Education Center
While the strategic plan looks at the big picture of your organization, a business plan focuses more on a program or service.
- Business Planning (For Nonprofits, For-Profits and Hybrid Organizations) – Free Management Library
- What is a Business Plan and Why Do I Need One for My Nonprofit? – About.com
- Business Planning for Nonprofits – National Council of Nonprofits
- Sample Nonprofit Business Plans – Bridgestar
An annual operating plan or work plan is integral to an organization’s success. The operating plan breaks down the goals of the strategic plan into measurable components.
Information about an operating plan is at the end of this link, after the strategic planning section.
These days it’s even more important for nonprofits to be accountable to their mission, the public, and their funders. Evaluation is crucial for programs, as well as the organization itself.
- Evaluation Resources – Third Sector New England
- Where can I Learn About Nonprofit Program Evaluation? – Foundation Center
One of the most common forms of evaluation is outcome measurement. You can use it for any type of program or department.
- Basic Guide to Outcomes-Based Evaluation for Nonprofit Organizations with Very Limited Resources – Free Management Library
- You Have to Know Where You’re Going in Order to Get There – Stephen Pratt, Root Cause
This link contains organizational assessment tools, a logic model builder, and an evaluation plan builder. Free registration is required to use the site.
Here are some ways you can take your planning to the next level with integrated planning.
- Strategic Planning for Nonprofits… and the Value of Integrated Planning – Synthesis Partnership
Managing employees can be both challenging and rewarding. The links below can help you be a more effective manager.
- Be An Adaptive Supervisor – Third Sector New England
- Free Basic Guide to Leadership and Supervision – Free Management Library
It is inevitable that an executive director will leave an organization at some point. Here are ways you can ensure a smooth transition. These guidelines can also be helpful as other staff transition from your organization. No matter what level of staff is transitioning, it is important to have all job responsibilities documented.
- Leadership Development and Succession – National Council of Nonprofits
- Executive Transition Resources – Third Sector New England
- Succession Planning – Free Management Library
Organizational evaluation and development
Organizations need to do periodic self evaluations. Here are some ways to go about it
- Self Assessment and Evaluation of Outcomes – National Council of Nonprofits
- Organizational Development Resources – Third Sector New England
A common evaluation tool is the SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. The following link also includes templates.
Boards and governance
The board of directors provides guidance and oversight to nonprofit organizations. Is your board effective? Here is some information to help ensure that your board is serving your organization in the best way possible.
- Board of Directors Q & A’s – Board Source
- Governance Resources – Third Sector New England
- Boards & Governance – National Council of Nonprofits
- Nonprofit Governance
It’s important to provide your new board members with an orientation. This link tells you how to go about it. You could also modify this for a staff or volunteer orientation.
For additional information on board requirements and board development go to Board Source.
All registered nonprofit organizations must have a mission statement, which summarizes their purpose. Is yours effective? Does your work reflect your mission?
- Don’t Make Your Organization’s Statement Of Purpose A “Mission Impossible” – Fund-raising Forum
- Develop Vision and Mission Statements – Foundation Center
- Where can I Learn About Nonprofit Mission Statements? – Foundation Center
- Basics of Developing Mission, Vision and Values Statements – Free Management Library
- Samples of Mission Statements by Real Nonprofit Organizations – About.com